Thursday, January 24, 2013

Flying Photo School-Week 2

After my first week of Flying Photo School under my belt I was very excited to start Week 2. I'm loving that I am learning so much about my camera. In two weeks I have learned enough to no longer need auto mode. Woo hoo! Such a great feeling! 

I also love that we can look at our "classmates" pictures and make comments/ask questions and see what the instructor has to say. It helps to hear that other people are having similar struggles and how they fixed them. It's also helpful to look at their settings too and see how they created their amazing shots.

Week 2 was all about shutter speed. This was a very helpful week because my kids are always on the move and most of their pictures are blurred! You can also take some pretty creative pictures too by adjusting the shutter speed.

The lessons this week were a combination of videos and worksheets. The "instructor" is VERY good at explaining terms and techniques in a way that makes sense and relates well to photography. Each week is broken down in smaller sections so I can either watch the whole week at once or in small increments. Perfect for a mom with a crazy schedule!

Our assignment this week was to take a picture in shutter speed priority mode. Some people got very creative. I just wanted to learn how to take an "action" shot that wasn't completely blurry. Even with what I learned this week, I found the assignment difficult. It was very hard to find a balance between speed and light. Basically the faster your shutter speed, the less light you get. It's all about balance.

My first attempts were at Logan's horse-backing riding lessons. The arena was WAY too dark for a fast shutter speed (needed to catch a small girl on a horse). The flash would spook the horses, so that wasn't an option. In order to have some light in the pictures I had to decease the shutter-speed and increase the ISO which lead to some pretty grainy pictures BUT to me, it's better than no pictures of Lo riding.

My second attempt was Noa swinging. This is one of her most favorite activities and I was hoping to catch her in action! Again, lots of difficulty. Some times she wouldn't be in the picture or I'd get her but the quality wouldn't be that great. 

Part of my problem is lack of experience & practice, and the other part is that it was sunny out but she was partially in the shade. As with most things in life, it's just going to take lots of practice and patience! 

In the end I went with this picture to submit to my instructor:
I picked it because Noa is in focus, it captures movement and the coloring is pretty good. I also liked that there was plenty of room for improvement, giving my instructor something to actually critique and give advice on. Clearly it's going to take some practice, but I am very happy that not only do I know how to adjust the shutter speed, but I understand what and when adjustments are needed. Lucky for me, I have lots of fast moving targets to practice on!

I also received my feedback from last week's assignment on white balance and ISO. Just to remind you, this is the picture I submitted:
This is what my instructor said: This is excellent work - both your color and light look excellent here. Well done! Yay me!

Week 3 is all about Aperture and I'm really excited to learn more about it. I've read lots of blog posts about it, but I still finding it confusing and I'm not sure what it really means. I'm hoping by the end of the week I'll have a better understanding of what it is and when to use it!

As always, I'm open for any suggestions, ideas or resources you use for your photography so please don't be shy! I LOVE getting comments so shout 'em out!

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